Pastor Mike’s Garage June 17th, 2021

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-June 17/2021*

Earlier this week I went, along with my family, to Wolseley to stand
with several hundred other people to honour the ultimate sacrifice paid by
a member of our Police service as the body of constable Patton was brought
back to the funeral home to prepare for burial. My wife had worked with him
several times in her role as Coroner for this area. While I had never met
him personally, I still found it a pretty emotional experience as many
police vehicles and other service vehicles drove by slowly lights flashing
in silence, and to see the hearse drive by. As I looked around, I saw tears
in many eyes, in men, women, children, and also in the eyes of the many
constables as they drove by, remembering their comrade and feeling the
support of the many who came out to honour him and them. I don’t mind
telling you our eyes were not dry either!

As we were standing waiting for the entourage to arrive, I thought of
the reality that constable Patton would probably be totally shocked at the
amount of nation-wide attention he was receiving. My thoughts went to fact
that early Saturday morning, as he was responding to the call, he would not
have had any idea what the day’s events would unfold. I wondered what
preoccupied his thoughts earlier that day. In my wife’s role as coroner,
she deals with many scenarios similar to this. While obviously the
particulars are different, the outcome has parallels. Whether it be a
serious health event, accident, or a senseless act of violence, it usually
involves someone getting up having no clue this day would be their last. I
often wonder what occupied their thoughts leading up to the event that
culminates in their passing. What were they excited about, what were they
worried about, what were they looking forward too, what were they stressed
about? If I was to have any idea that today was my last, how important
would many of the things that occupy my thoughts seem? What’s on your mind
today? What’s totally stressing you out or weighing you down? What are you
looking forward too or longing to achieve or acquire? If this was your last
day on this earth, how important would any of those things be?

While I don’t think totally preoccupying our thoughts with our
eventual demise would necessarily be a healthy thing, I do think it wise to
ask ourselves these questions from time to time. Pastor Dave gave me a book
awhile back to read called “Living Life Backwards” by David Gibson. It’s a
study on the book of Ecclesiastes and I wholeheartedly recommend it. It
basically focuses on the fact that because our life is brief what should we
focus on and prioritize our lives after. To quote the introduction to the
book, “Keeping the end in mind shapes how we live our lives in the here and
now. Living life backwards means taking the one thing in our future that is
certain-death-and letting that inform our journey before we get there.”
This is a message and principle applicable for every age group and

I will close this PG by quoting a few verses from the bible along
these lines. “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many
months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” Job 14:5 “You
saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are
your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” Psalm 139:16,17
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
Psalm 90 “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me
that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no
longer that the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to
you, at best, each of us but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and
all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who
will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in
you.” Psalm 39:4-7

Pastor Mike